The name Bernie Sanders did not appear on the ballot as a candidate for President in any state during the 2016 general election. Still, a large share of the blame for this disaster that is the current administration lies squarely on his shoulders, on the Bernie or Bust movement, and on the foreign support that kept his campaign alive for far too long driving voters away from Hillary Clinton. The evidence is clear that Sanders and Stein became the Ralph Nader’s of 2016, peeling off just enough votes from the Democratic candidate to hand the presidency to yet another Republican who lost the popular vote. They were used as Putin’s other puppets.
There are many hard core Sanders supporters still refusing to accept responsibility for what they have done. Susan Sarandon, the notorious supporter of spoiler candidates past, such as the aforementioned Ralph Nader, is one of them. Long before the official nomination of Secretary Clinton by the Democratic Party at last summer’s national convention, not only did Sarandon incorrectly predict a Clinton indictment, but when comparing Secretary Clinton to the now 45th President, she said that,
Sarandon explained in a November 4, 2016 interview why she wasn’t voting for Secretary Clinton but instead for Jill Stein, saying in a BBC interview that,
Just 24 days into the new administration, when asked during an interview by MSNBC’s Christopher Hayes, if the state of affairs would have been worse under a Clinton presidency, Sarandon responded saying,
The reasoning by Susan Sarandon, that a Hillary Clinton presidency would have been worse for America, quite clearly has been proven to be faulty over the first two plus months of the current administration. There are others on the far left, like working class rust belt hero, Michael Moore, who was another early supporter of Sanders. Remember that in December, 2015, Moore had predicted a Clinton loss. He published on his personal webpage the five reasons why he believed that the Republican candidate would win in 2016, which were essentially the repetition of the false attacks against Secretary Clinton, along with justification for either staying home or voting for a candidate not named Clinton.
Perhaps nothing is as crucial to the understanding of a given event as the knowledge of what caused it, especially if the event was negative. Before you can prevent a previous problem from happening again, you must find out what caused it in the first place. For example, if you decide to go swimming in the ocean near Fukushima, and you get radiation sickness, it would be logical to blame not just the radiation, but also your own poor decision to swim in those waters. Likewise, the supporters of Sanders who chose to vote for Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein, or to write in Bernie Sanders, which propelled the Republican candidate to victory in 2016, should have seen the effect of their votes coming.
Consider the statistical evidence. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were both candidates for president in 2012. Pennsylvanians cast 49,441 votes for Johnson and 21,341 votes for Stein in 2012. Pennsylvanians cast 11,630 write-in votes in 2012. Those totals were 146,715 votes for Johnson, 49,941 for Stein, with 47,285 write-in votes in 2016, an increase of 159,529 votes. Michigan cast 7,774 votes for Johnson and 21,897 votes for Stein in 2012. Michigan counted zero write-in votes in 2012. The numbers in 2016 were a whopping 172,136 votes for Johnson, 51,463 for Stein, plus 25,307 write-in votes, an increase of 219,235 votes. The story is similar in Wisconsin where Johnson took 20,439 votes and Stein 7,665 votes in 2012. Wisconsin’s cast 5,170 write-in votes in 2012. The numbers were a huge 106,674 votes for Johnson, 31,072 for Stein, along with 22,812 write-in votes in 2016, a 127,284 vote increase.
Hillary Clinton lost this election by 44,292 votes in Pennsylvania, 10,704 votes in Michigan, and 22,748 votes in Wisconsin, a total of 77,744 votes. The numbers clearly indicate that the increased third and fourth party vote, and write-in votes totaling 506,048 in those three states, caused the Democratic candidate to lose the 2016 election. To deny this is to deny reality. Keep in mind that George W. Bush won the presidency because he got 537 more votes in Florida than Al Gore. The Green Party candidate, Ralph Nader, took 97,488 votes in Florida in the 2000 election.
Jill Stein, the successor to the reviled Ralph Nader, as Democratic Party spoiler, was present at the Russian State owned RT Gala in Moscow on December 10, 2015, as Vladimir Putin’s guest. Stein met with a Russian Parliament foreign affairs chairperson the next day. The now fired National Security advisor, General Michael Flynn, was also at that dinner. We now know that it was Russian hackers who turned over the information that Wikileaks used to hurt Secretary Clinton, not to prop up Sanders, after the nomination was clearly going to Clinton.
Sanders eagerly took help from right wing sources. The help came from Karl Rove and his American Crossroads Super PAC, from the RNC and Chairman, now Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, and from the Koch founded America Rising Super PAC.
There was also help that went to the Sanders campaign from the Democratic Socialists of America, a group affiliated with the Socialists International. The group later threw Sanders overboard and endorsed Jill Stein.
The public is now acutely aware of the proliferation of overseas members from such places as Albania and Macedonia, that overwhelmed the Bernie Sanders social media world, with false and incendiary “news” designed to make Hillary Clinton an unacceptable option in the 2016 general election. This is confirmed by multiple sources. The FBI is currently investigating the issue and their investigation predates the election.
The Sanders campaign received aid and comfort from the right wing, the worldwide Socialists, and the Vladimir Putin backed social media trolls. Instead of denouncing these connections, Sanders embraced them running as far as he could, refusing to concede, even after it became all statistically impossible for him to win the Democratic nomination. The last Democratic primary took place on June 14, 2016. Sanders waited for almost a month before formally endorsing the Hillary Clinton candidacy.
We all remember candidate Sanders’ constant reference to a corrupt campaign finance system, while dressing down candidate Clinton for alleged connections to corporate contributions fueling her campaign. It turned out that it was he Sanders campaign that was under a constant cloud of suspicion for donations that were illegally bundled, that came from overseas, and which exceeded the $2,700 individual limit.
It is convenient, but disingenuous, for die hard Sanders supporters, many of whom were more never Hillary than pro Bernie, to be complaining about the election of the new Republican President. They cannot now try to blend in with the rest of the Liberals and Progressives who supported the Democratic nominee, and were working hard to stop the Republican candidate from day one. They would very much like to sweep under the rug any unpleasant notions about blame or responsibility. The tepid support for Clinton from Sanders and some of his backers, such as Michael Moore, was too little and too late. The culpability of the Sanders campaign, particularly in regards to the acceptance of foreign assistance, is similar to the help heaped upon the new President.
We know now that the Russians intended to subvert our 2016 election, getting involved over a year before the election took place. The supporters of Bernie Sanders were taken advantage of by a ruthless man, who used their genuine ideals as a hammer for smashing Democratic unity to bits. They need to realize that mistake, and accept responsibility in that they were duped by false information that came from within the Kremlin itself.
Going forward, we need to remain vigilant against foreign attempts to divide and confuse us, especially when those attempts are being spoon fed to us by the likes of a former KGB officer of the defunct Union of Soviet Socialists Republic, and by the Independent Socialist and not ever Democrat, Bernie Sanders. It’s only when you’ve admitted there’s a problem, that you can start to fix it. As the old saying goes, Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein became two more of Putin’s puppets.